and the Tibetan “Serfs Emancipation Day”, 28th March
A closer examination of the impact Tibetans experienced due to their encounter with the Han Chinese.
The Chinese government declared the 28th of March ‘Tibetan Serfs Emancipation Day’, an annual holiday when the Tibetans are to celebrate their ‘liberation from serfdom’ by the Han Chinese.
When in 1950 the Chinese PLA invaded Tibet, they repeatedly told the Tibetans that the 'Han People’ had come to liberate and assist them.
See Footnotes: i
This begs a closer examination of the encounters and experiences by the Tibetans with these ‘Han People’, and what cause for celebration they might have on this day.
Ever since ancient times the Han people would view ‘border people’, and in fact all other races, as barbarians and see them as beasts beneath the noble, superior Han race.
These ‘border people’ were referred to with the added characters of dog for the people of the north, a reptile for the Min and Man people and a sheep for the Qiang, etc.
The Tibetans were referred to in various terms, including ‘fan’ or ‘barbarians’; ‘t’u-fan’ or ‘agricultural barbarians’, and ‘hsi-fan’ or ‘western barbarians’; an attitude which primarily shaped their conduct and interactions with these other races.
These racist attitudes harboured by the Han people is best expressed by Wang Fuzhi, a contemporary of the late Ming and early Qing dynasty, in the following missive:
“And the Barbarians you may exterminate them and it will not be cruel, you may loot and plunder their lands and it won’t be unfair and unjust, you may deceive them and defraud them and it won’t be unrighteous; because all these notions only apply to man of verbal intercourse, and do not apply to different species.”
 Propaganda and Reality
Exhibitions assembled by the CCP to commemorate the ‘Tibetan Serfs Emancipation Day’ depict all manner of torture instrument, photographs, documents, relics of bones and skulls, etc. to ‘prove the barbarity’ of the old Tibet.
The CCP has made this part of a diplomatic offensive designed to quash any questioning of the legitimacy of the Han nation ‘owning’ Tibet.
The Chinese, in newly found confidence over their economic success, are displaying supreme self assurance, and their bullying and cowering into compliance with their view of the world is taking on an ever more sinister and menacing degree, meted out to nations large and small.
CCP propaganda paints a picture of a downtrodden Serfdom and an exploitative and cruel Aristocracy, who ruled over the ‘Serfs’ as a class of slaves in brutal oppression.
In order to justify the ‘liberation’ of Tibet, the Chinese need to portray Tibetan society as “Hell on Earth” and turn it into a “Class Struggle”, which clearly is not borne out by historical facts, but is essential in the Marxist/Communist/CCP doctrine, where class is the nemesis of the egalitarian society and takes precedence over national identity.
We shall revisit “Hell on Earth” again later.
See Footnotes: ii
The type of social strata practised in Tibet in fact was a benign form of peasant / landowner relationship, with the landowners most often not much better off than the labourers themselves.
Indeed, there was a kinship amongst all of the population which was unique to Tibet, and bonded landlord and peasant in a much deeper sense than just their common economic fate. Peasants often had their own plot of land they could cultivate, and paid the landowner in service of labour or produce as their circumstances afforded them.
Tibet as a country was very poor but content, with very little difference between rich and poor.
The workers were not bonded to the aristocrats and could move on to work for other landowners if they felt they could improve their lives by doing so.
In “Tibet through dissident Chinese eyes”, Yiu Yung-chin and others express the sentiment that by contrast, China was a much more iniquitous society, where there were huge disparities of wealth, and widespread cruelty between the landowners and the peasants, with torture, beatings to death and rape of peasant tenants commonplace.
Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, one of the main leaders of the Tibetan rebellion, commented on this in his memoirs by stating:
“Critics of the Tibetan agrarian and social system are apt to overlook some very relevant factors which countered its apparent faults. In spite of differences of status or material possessions, there was no great gulf between the rich and the poor. The landowner was more a patriarchal head of household than an exacting or oppressive master. The universal belief in the principles and teachings of Buddhism encouraged, on the one hand, generosity and desire to improve the lot of the less fortunate and, on the other, the absence of envy or resentment on the part of the
Han Chinese propaganda repeats ad nauseum the allegation that in the old Tibet there were no schools, however there were several governmental efforts establishing public schools, many private schools were available, and the thousands of monasteries provided education to anyone, regardless of background or social status.
In his “Memories of life in Lhasa under Chinese rule” Tubten Khétsun relates his experience with schooling in the 1940s, first at one of the many private schools and then college at the Drepung monastery.
“This type of school suited the needs of the society at that time, and drew students from all social strata. .….. There was no set fee to be paid as a condition of attending school, and students paid different rates according to their means. …….the school gave exactly the same instruction to all students, regardless of the offerings they had made. ……. In Chinese Communist propaganda distributed both internally and externally, it is forcefully stated formerly only the Tibetan aristocracy had the opportunity of a formal education and that this was completely denied the ordinary people. Some foreigners have been misled by this without checking the facts for themselves and the allegation has been repeated in some foreign publications, and although the younger generation of Tibetans do not necessarily believe it, the fact that some foreigner has said so makes them doubtful, and if they lack determination to seek the truth, they do not bother to question those of us with direct experience of Tibetan society at that time about what it was really like.”
Catriona Bass writes of education pre Chinese occupation in her book “Education in Tibet: policy and practice since 1950”:
“Wealthy landowners or traders would make arrangements with religious or lay scholars to educate their sons and daughters in basic literacy and numeracy. Some families would gather a number of children together, sometimes educating the children of their servants, and, in the towns of Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse, small schools were established on this basis.”
Born in 1935, the current, fourteenth Dalai Lama, then still a teenager, also made many reforms in the short time he had as head of state. He established a reform committee which was charged with overseeing wide ranging reforms from the Judiciary, Public Education, Communications, Transport and other aspects of Tibetan society which the Dalai Lama intended to modernize and reform.
He quashed the practice of Debt Inheritance, breaking the chain of debt from one generation to the next and consequently exonerating the thus affected peasantry of any debt burden which may have encumbered them. He also declared an amnesty on all debt owed to the government, absolving all debtors of such obligations.
He also established an Independent Judiciary among other reforms.
On the agenda was a major land reform which would have seen the larger estates of the land owning families becoming wholly government owned and controlled again, and the land then allocated to the people who worked and cultivated it at the time, however the Chinese occupation terminated such efforts.
Even Goldstein argues that a link between the peasantry and feudalism is not only untenable, but that the peasantry were not serfs in the context of Tibetan society, but were often free to exonerate their obligation to the landowner and buy their own plot of land, and or / move to other estates, and even have their own employees working for them.
The many contemporary accounts from travellers, who had extensive first hand experience of Tibet as it was prior to the Chinese invasion, depict a country which was poor but content.
They consistently lack any such absurd descriptions as the CCP now tries to misrepresent, and foist on the old Tibetan society in an attempt to divert from the illegality of their occupation of the country.
What such travellers highlight though, is the gratuitous cruelty and barbarity the Chinese inflicted upon the Tibetans during times of military incursions and limited control they managed to exert at times over Tibet. See Part 2
Certainly not the sort of onerous ‘serfdom’ CCP tries to portray Tibetan society before their occupation.
■ The notion of “Han” is in itself an invention which based its justification on the concept of a common people opposed to Manchu rule, and included all the people of very different cultural, linguistic and ethnic background and were earlier part of the Ming Dynasty.
The revolutionaries needed more than the term ‘yellow race’ which had wide currency at the time, and which of course by its very nature included the Manchu people.
This term ‘yellow race’ was used widely in the nineteenth century in the extensive process of self-victimisation and self pitying, namely the yellow race being ‘oppressed’ by the white race, in the course of blaming all ills of the late Manchu empire on these external influences.
Zhang Bingling, who morphed from being a Reformist to a fervent Revolutionary, introduced the term ‘Hanzhong’, Han race, which based its foundation in common surnames carried by this ‘Han race’. Historian Sima Qian, who purportedly lived between 145 and 90 BC, provided a basis for this with his mythical account of Chinese history, which credits Huangdi, 黄帝, or Yellow Emperor as the founder of the Chinese nation, and bringing order and structured government to earth, plus inventing just about every aspect Chinese civilization.
He was credited with having some 25 children, but here the numbers vary, and different accounts claim varying numbers of progenies, and sons.
Zhang Bingling made the mythical figure of the Yellow Emperor, who supposedly lived between 2697 and 2597 BCE, the arch ancestor of all Han people, which was based on the common surnames from the descendants of Huangdi.
It served the revolutionaries of the latter part of the fading Qing Empire to unite the disparate people under Manchu rule and foment the antagonism and common purpose required to overthrow the Qing rulers.
Today the notion of Han is deeply rooted in the psyche of the 'Chinese' and provides them with a sense of one race, one purpose and one nation.
Though genetically, nor culturally or ethnically, the Han race does not exist, but the term is used here for the purpose of identifying the people for whom the label is relevant in the context, and who now identify themselves to be of the 'Han race'.
■ Today we have the obscene spectacle of diplomats from all over the world obediently trotting through an exhibition in Beijing expounding the ‘cruelty and heartlessness’ of the old Tibet, and passing ingratiating judgements to their gleeful hosts based on this odious concoction of the most sordid denigration and vilification.
The South African Ambassador Ndumiso Ndima Ntshinga reportedly opined: ” Obviously, the quality of the life of Tibetans have changed dramatically since 1959. It is quite encouraging to see that the survivors of that horrible system of feudalism lived through”.
The Chilean Ambassador Fernando Reyes Matta is quoted as having voiced his opinion “that it is essential to put together such documents, photographs and various references so that foreigners had the chance to learn more about the truth and the reality of Tibet.”
• In the aftermath of the financial crisis, western countries have succumbed to prostrating themselves to the Han nation in ever more indecorous manners.
In another development but patently related in its acquiescence to Chinese demands, the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband overturned a longstanding position of Britain to regard Tibet, implicitly, as an occupied country by not recognising China’s sovereignty over Tibet.
Miliband slyly included this bombshell buried in a statement on the ministry’s website: "Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China."
China’s response was an intensified recalcitrant and harrying demeanour towards the Tibetan delegation which was to resume ‘negotiations’ with Chinese officials over Tibet, and blasted the exiled Tibetans and the Dalai Lama with ever more contemptible rhetoric.
 Tibet and the Qing Dynasty
In 1638 – 39 the Great Fifth Dalai Lama accepted the Manchu Emperor’s wish to patronise the Tibetan religion and thus the two Sovereigns entered into the Chö-Yön relationship.
It is noteworthy that this Agreement was entered into well before the Manchus had conquered the territories of the Han, which did not occur until 1644.
Therefor this Agreement was solely between Tibet and the Manchus and did not include the Han in any way.
This Agreement did, however, not preclude subsequent Manchu rulers and administrations from endeavouring to usurp the spirit of this Chö-Yön relationship, and seek to increase their power way beyond the agreed principles set out therein.
This, for one, led in 1728 to the establishment of the office of the Amban, the Emperor’s envoy in Lhasa. The Manchu Emperors though, without exception, appointed Manchus to the post of Amban, thus emphasizing the fact that this relationship was unequivocally between the Manchu Emperor and the Tibetan Dalai Lama, and that the Han, which under the Manchu Empire made up the majority population, were not part of this relationship.
With the issue of the “29 Point Ordinance for the Efficient Governance of Tibet“ in 1793 by the Qing Emperor Qianlong, who at the same time appointed Fu Kang’an as Amban, the Manchus sought to further increase their influence in Tibet.
Thus, they insisted, among other points on the adoption of parts of the Manchu judicial system and punishments.
Xiaoming Zhang, a CCP writer, confidently proclaims in his book ‘China’s Tibet’: “…….The basic principles formulated in the 29-Article Ordinance remained the standard for the administrative and Legal System in Tibet for more than the next hundred years.
The Manchu presence in Tibet saw the introduction of such uniquely Han practises as “Ling Ch'ih”, known as ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’, Boiling to death, the Cutting off of Limbs, the penetration of the Ear with an arrow, ripping asunder by horses or other means, lighting fires beneath suspended victims, etc. These were all alien forms of punishments to the Tibetans and instilled a deep loathing and abhorrence of the Manchu and Han presence among the population.
Wherever the Qing forces managed exert any power over Tibetans, they meted out these peculiar forms of Chinese ‘justice and punishments’.
Dr. Albert Shelton explicitly describes the “cooking of forty to fifty Tibetans” by the Han invaders, who witnessed their skeletons after the bodies were fed to the dogs.
The Manchu forces also introduced their instruments of torture, such as Pillories (chinese. Mu Chia 木枷) and Finger Presses etc. which, along with all the other forms of Han and Manchu judicial practices and punishments, are now attributed to the Tibetans by CCP propaganda and their compliant writers in a concerted drive to denigrate and demonise the Tibetans.
The Manchu and Han used these forms of torture, such as “ling ch’ih’ and forced the Tibetan populace to witness such acts of barbarism in an attempt to cower them into submission and as a powerful deterrent to resistance, wherever they managed to exert any influence.
Luciano Petech relates events of such summary Manchu justice, which occurred around November 1728 as follows:
“Na-p’od-pas and Lum-pa-nas were done to death by the slicing process (ling-ch’ih), the two churchmen were slowly strangled, the remaining thirteen were decapitated by three cuts of the sword.”
He contends that this terrible scene, which the Tibetans were forced to witness, made a deep impression and traumatised the Tibetans for years thereafter.
Before being lynched in these uniquely Chinese ways, the condemned men were first paraded naked on their way to the execution ground, the ‘Tent of Death’ to further humiliate and dehumanise them.
Flora Shelton further relates accounts of such Han barbarities of “Ling ch’ih” by the notorious Zhao Erfeng, who managed to invade and occupy eastern Tibet between 1908 / 10. Erfeng used it with great indulgence to terrorise the Tibetan population there in this and other barbaric ways peculiar to the Han Chinese.
An American missionary wrote the following in a foreign press journal in Shanghai on his long time observation in Eastern Tibet:
“There is no method of torture known that is not practised in here on these Tibetans, slicing skinning, boiling, tearing asunder, and all… To sum up what China is doing here in Eastern Tibet, the main things are collecting taxes, robbing, oppressing, confiscating, and allowing her representatives to burn loot and steal.”
In his book Journey to Lhasa and central Tibet Sarat Chandra Das, writes:
“The Chinese punishment of the cangue is now adopted throughout Tibet, the criminals wearing it being also heavily chained.”
The Tibetans viewed these Han practises of judicial punishments as so barbaric, inhumane and completely alien to them, that once they had fully regained power over their own affairs they wasted no time, and under the guidance of the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama decreed the Death Penalty as illegal, reformed the legal code and banned all forms of cruel corporal punishments such as mutilation.
In fact, Tibet maintained a code of conduct which dates as far back as Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, based on Buddhist principles and forbade the mistreatment of peasants, or any member of Tibetan society, and the administering of any form of corporal punishment was the sole preserve of the central government.
Thus, Tibet was one of the very first countries in the world to outlaw Capital Punishment in 1898, a practise which is now extensively used in the CCP ruled Han nation, indiscriminately meted out to thugs, petty criminals, regime critics, Tibetans for ‘splittist activities’, and Falun Gong practitioners alike, so that some estimated Ten Thousand, (10,000) hapless people are exterminated in this way annually by the CCP.
See Footnotes: i
Hence, what many early writers actually described, and today the Han CCP in their propaganda drive of demonisation depict as Tibetan barbarism, were in fact Chinese forms of torture and cruelty, executed by, and imposed on the Tibetans, by the Chinese themselves.
■ Today China runs, what they term Re-Education through Labour Camps, but in reality they are nothing more than slave labour camps, where the captives are imprisoned for mostly regime critical activities, such as exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression or practising their religion, and there they are worked and mistreated to death in large numbers.
Today, the CCP also runs a very lucrative Organ harvesting programme where kidneys, corneas, hearts and other organs are removed from executed convicts, but mostly from live victims in this 'Laogai' system, Falun Gong members, regime critics and Tibetan disappeared, and sold to paying recipients.
 Tibet and the RoC - Republic of China 1912–1949
During the reign of the Manchu empire, i.e. the Qing dynasty, the Han Chinese were forced to wear the Manchu style pigtails from the time they were conquered in 1644, and once the 1911 revolution gathered pace the Han would cut off their pigtails to show their “Freedom from Manchu Oppression” as Mao himself described it.
The revolution of 1911 was unequivocally an uprising by one race against another; by the Han against the Manchu.
The revolution even flew the white Han flag, which bore just one character; ‘Han’, in the clearest indication that the revolution was a fight by the Han against their invaders and overlords, the Manchu, which the Han deeply despised and resented.
All the passion and rhetoric by Sun Yat-sen and his co-conspirators at the time was designed to whip up utmost fervour and zealotry amongst the Han against their foreign overlords, the Manchu.
But this racist sentiment and loathing of their 'alien overlords', the Manchus, soon caught up with a realization that the hegemonistic aspirations of the Han race, essentially expounded and formulated by Sun Yat-sen, were exactly synonymous with what the much hated Manchus had done almost 300 years earlier; conquering the Han, and then ruled over them continuously ever since, which of course gave rise to the very reason for the revolution.
See Footnotes: i
Thus, in order to justify the conquest and subjugation of the other Nationalities’ indigenous lands and territories and ‘claim’ them as part of the new Han Nation, Sun Yat-sen, in an inspiration of thinly veiled duplicitous racism, changed tack.
Instead of continuing to fly the Han flag, the most visible and ostensible sign that the Han now were in control, he declared the ‘Republic of China’ a “Multiethnic State, composed of Han, Mongols, Tibetans, Uighurs and Manchus”.
In reality though, it was, then as it is today, solely the Han who hold all the power, in this ‘Multiethnic Nation’.
With this declaration the Han Chinese sought to legitimize their claim to the territories of all the other nations, comprising over 60% of today’s China, in spite of the fact that none of these nations were remotely willing participants, or had any share in the economic, military or political power.
And neither does any of these minorities today.
In fact, first in late 1911 Mongolia, and then in 1912 Tibet had just reasserted their independence. This of course was a catalyst to change tack for the Han Chinese, who sought to dominate all the territories of their erstwhile overlords, the so much loathed and despised 'alien' Manchus, (and of course much more by additionally including Tibet).
This stroke of racist genius by Sun Yat-sen, by enunciating the ever latent hegemonistic aspiration of the Han race, more than anything else, unites the Communists of mainland China and the Nationalists of Taiwan today in celebrating him as the ‘father of modern China’, though he wasn’t even in the country for the best part of the revolution!
Thus, he is credited by both sides for laying the foundations to the greater Han Empire of today; though no consideration to any legitimacy is ever entertained, given the forcible and involuntary inclusion of the other Nationalities.
The fact that the Manchus were considered an ‘Alien, occupying race’ and had to be overthrown and expelled belies any notion that the Han Nation could ever claim legitimacy to all the Manchu Empire’s territories now occupied, let alone Tibet, which never was under Manchu control.
See Footnotes: ii
Indeed, Sun Yat-sen’s conviction of the racist supremacy of the Han was such that he made the proclamation that “the Han had the rightful authority to rule all of ‘China’ and that all these territories were bestowed to the Han race”, even though, in the same breath, he proclaims that the Manchu were an ‘Alien Race’.
In a logical extension, the Tibetans, and the other Nationalities, must be counted amongst these ‘Alien Races’, nevertheless the Han assumed the ‘inalienable’ right to rule over them and their territory, along with the other three minorities, the Mongols, Uighurs and the Manchus. This is manifestly an extension and continuation of the century old racism, condescension and hegemonistic attitudes towards other races harboured by the Han race.
The ordinary people of the Manchu race paid a very heavy price, as once the Han had established themselves as the new power to be reckoned with, and the Manchu reign had collapsed, widespread ethnic cleansing took place and an orgy of Manchu slaughtering spread throughout the new republic.
See Footnotes: iii
■ Sun Yat-sen, in a most bizarre show of deference to Han superiority, even went to the Yongle Emperor’s ( 永樂 / Perpetual Happiness, third emperor of the Ming Dynasty) tomb and addressed him as though he were present:
“The policies of the Manchus have been one of obdurate tyranny, motivated by a desire for eternal subjugation of the Han. The Manchus have governed the country to the everlasting detriment of the people. Today, the Han race has finally restored the government to the Han people. Your people have come here today to inform your Majesty of the final victory.”
■ The first president of the new republic of China, after the ‘provisional president Sun Yat-sen, Yuan Shikai, ‘invited’ Tibet to join the republic and asked for the acceptance thereof by Tibet.
The thirteenth Dalai Lama replied as follows:
“The Republic has only just been proclaimed and the national foundations are far from strong. It behoves the President to exert his energies towards the maintenance of order. As for Thibet, the Thibetans are quite capable of preserving their existence intact and there is no occasion for the President to worry himself at this distance or to be discomposed. The reason why the Thibetans do not approve of the Central Government is entirely due to the excessive ill-treatment inflicted upon them by the Chinese troops in Thibet. Their indignation has been roused. How many, to take an instance, of the temples and shrines have been set on fire or demolished by the Chinese troops, while the officers in command have been quite powerless! How could the Thibetans fail to oppose China?"
■ Dr. Sun Yat-sen wrote in his
“The Manifesto of the Military Government of the Revolutionary Brotherhood”:
1. To drive away the Manchus
“……… Now is the time to raise an army and overthrow the Manchu government and regain the sovereignty of our country. Such Manchus and such Han in the Manchu army as repent themselves and surrender to us will be pardoned. We will kill those Manchus who oppose us, and also all Han who traitorously helped the Manchus.”
2. To restore “China” to the Han
The Chinese state belongs to the Han; her political institutions should be administered by Han alone. We must drive away the Manchus and restore our China to the Han. If any are bold enough to support the foreign tribe, like Shih Ching-tang and Wu San-kuei of old, it is the duty of all Han to see that they are killed.
3. To establish a Republic
“……. A constitution will be promulgated for the Republic and every citizen will be obliged to obey it. If anybody plots to restore despotism in China, we must kill him.”
Such firebrand racist rhetoric would hardly be deemed befitting of a National Hero by most other Nations, but would rather condemn him as a felon and an odious racist, yet for the Han it strikes at the core of their world view and ‘values’; the noble, superior Han, versus the rest as barbarians who don't deserve to be treated as equals or even as humans.
Sun Yat-sen must shoulder the preponderance of the responsibility for the ensuing litany of racist crimes and the wholesale slaughter of Manchus under his watch.
 Under PRC Occupation
When the Chinese invaded independent Tibet in 1950, the Tibetan economy was flourishing, with trade thriving and taking place with India, all its neighbours, and countries as far as England and the rest of Europe.
There were as many as 2,500 to 3,000 monasteries in Central Tibet alone and over 6,000 in whole of the Tibetan Plateau.
Theoretically the government owned all the land in Tibet and shared it out to the monasteries, estates and peasants. In practice the land was mostly passed on hereditarily and so the monasteries cultivated somewhere between thirty five and fifty percent of the arable land, while the larger estates held a little less than a quarter and the government also about twenty to twenty five percent, with peasants and nomads cultivating the balance in their own right. Peasants also cultivated about half of the land as their own plots on the estates they worked on and paid rental in produce or labour to the manor.
An other group, the 'Tsongpa' made up a large section of society and earned their living as traders and craftsmen and various skilled trades.
There was also a section of society which pursued vocations which were seen as less desirable, butchers, tanners, beggars or travelling entertainers, and also ferrymen or itinerant labourers.
Monks at that time numbered about ten to fifteen percent of the male population, so the close interconnection between the monasteries and the general population was very widespread and permeated the whole of society, from peasantry to gentry.
The monasteries acted also as financial institutions, and extended loans to peasants and aristocrats alike, besides financing social projects for the benefit of the whole society, as well as loans to the government and larger trading companies.
They were the banks and treasury of the Tibetan economy and provided the necessary capital for all commerce and trade.
It is important to understand the close interactions and connections the whole Tibetan society had with the monasteries through monastic family members, where almost every family had a member in the ecclesiastic community.
This provided access to finance and resources through the monasteries, which cared for the welfare of all of society.
A close knit society with the fabric woven and steeped in Buddhism and kinship, forged by the harsh conditions the land imposed on its inhabitants!
This can bee seen in the profound and deep rooted reverence and veneration monks were held, and the monastic society as a whole, by all of Tibetan society.
See Footnotes: i
Monasteries also took care of the supply of food staples and maintained granaries to store the harvest and distribute it as needed, and in times of shortage would see to equitable distribution.
They also held deposits in valuables of whatever nature, from gold, silver and anything of value borrowers would deposit, besides a vast accumulation of treasures of a proud heritage stretching back millennia, plus scriptures, texts and artworks of incalculable value.
All this amounted to virtually the total sum of Tibetan wealth, treasures and equity the country had accumulated through sweat, trade and industrious production over many millennia.
The monasteries also represented the social and religious hub and focal point of Tibetan society, the place of learning and education as they also acted as schools, the place to meet, to seek solace; the spiritual home for every Tibetan of whatever standing.
After the invasion, and particularly after the 59 uprising the Han Chinese went about to systematically destroy all the monasteries in Tibet, but not before they had looted them of the entire store of wealth, even all the granaries were looted to feed the Han invaders, every single scrap of valuables was stolen and taken back to China.
And what wasn’t of any immediate or obvious value in the eyes of the Han Chinese, like Buddhas or scriptures, pictures or artefacts was wantonly destroyed.
The entire population in turn was forced to hand over their personal valuables as well.
Anyone caught hiding anything deemed of value was severely tortured, brandished as a ‘reactionary’ or ‘counterrevolutionary’ and faced incarceration, life in a Laogai, or execution.
Most of the higher ranking lamas were tortured and killed, countless monks were incarcerated and disappeared in the many slave labour camps (Laogai) and were never seen again.
Out of the 6,000 monasteries, almost every single one, bar about six, was reduced to rubble by the Han Chinese, long before the onset of the Cultural Revolution.
Thus the Han Chinese looted the entire wealth of a sovereign nation, destroyed the entire heritage of a proud independent people and pursued the very last piece of meagre possessions even the poorest of farmer and peasant might have owned.
Every house was visited and looted, and even life stock and equipment was forcibly taken from every Tibetan.
As late as 1962, convoys of trucks were observed laden with this loot, taken from monasteries and forcibly appropriated from the Tibetan population, heading back towards China.
The so called “Agreement of the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” had this to say in point thirteen:
“13) The People’s Liberation Army entering Tibet shall abide by all the above-mentioned policies and shall also be fair in all buying and selling and shall not arbitrarily take a single needle or thread from the people.”
Countless tons of artefacts crafted in gold and silver were thus looted and molten down in china. Brass, wooden and other artefacts were either sold on the international market, molten down or destroyed.
In essence, Tibetan society was dispossessed of its entire assets, every possession, the entire cultural heritage; the whole fabric of Tibetan society was smashed, looted and destroyed.
This obliteration and looting of the entire inventory of temples is equal to any aggressor invading a country today, say Canada, the UK, US, China, or any other country, and pilfering the entire wealth from all the people, looting the treasury and all the banks, and destroying every bit of community assets, like town-halls, government buildings, schools, Universities, every single vestige of their entire civilisation built over thousands of years, wantonly destroyed. And simultaneously massacre all the clergy, administrators, public servants, teachers, educators, plus large section of society in addition.
Virtually nothing would remain, and the people would be left destitute and without any economic means for survival.
Tsering Dorje Gashi, in his book “New Tibet - Memoirs of a Graduate of the Peking Institute of National Minorities”, which was published in 1980, remarks:
"Priceless works of art, literature, and religious relics and works that were a model of Tibetan artistic perfection and achievement were taken out of the Potala and the various monasteries.
Idols and images made of gold, silver, brass and precious stones and metal were taken to China and eventually they found their way into the markets of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo where antique-collectors from the West bought them for exorbitant prices. A rough estimate of the foreign exchange earned by China from the sale of Tibetan religious and art objects is more than 80 billion American Dollars."
This was in 1980, yet does not take into account all the gold and silver artefacts which were molten down by the Han, plus everything else they've looted.
In 1962, well before the onset of the cultural revolution (1966-76) the Panchen Lama stated that “china’s democratic reforms in fact had already reduced the number of monasteries by some 97 percent and decimated the monastic population by 93 percent.
This translates to the destruction of 6,000 monasteries and nunneries with only less than a dozen being spared this orgy of malicious obliteration in the end.
Of the estimated 600,000 ecclesiastic population prior to the invasion, over 120,000 were murdered, executed and tortured to death, plus many more were forcibly defrocked, forced to publicly copulate with the opposite gender and were subjected to many more forms of depraved humiliations and barbarities.
Contrary to the Han CCP’s, and many apologist in the west’s claims hat the wanton destruction was part of the excesses of the ‘cultural revolution’ and that all of china had suffered the same fate at the forces unleashed by renegade members in the party, there was nothing left to destroy in 1966.
It was in fact a wilful and systematic annihilation of an entire heritage of a once proud and independent country.
As early as in their 1959 report on Tibet the ‘International Commission of Jurists’ has accused China of Genocide, and the numbers of deaths in Tibet under Chinese rule would qualify for such claims:
1.2 million dead, which is broken down as follows:
36% in combat, 28% starvation, 14% in prisons and labour camps, 13% by execution, 8% through torture, 1% suicide.
China violated the ‘Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide’ in every aspect.
Violations include such acts as:
• Mass killings, indiscriminate aerial bombing and shelling of monasteries and villages, the deportation of several tens of thousands of children to China, murder, indiscriminate imprisonment, systematic rape, forcible marriage of monks an nuns, torture and cruel and degrading treatment on a large scale, violations of rights of privacy, forcible transfer of family members, indoctrination of children and turning them against their parents, large scale deportations of Tibetans, confiscation and compulsory acquisition of private property, suppression of freedom of thought by acts of genocide against Buddhists to eradicate Buddhism, freedom of expression through the destruction of scriptures, the oppression and arbitrarily imprisonment of members of the Mimang Tsongdu movement, cruel punishments to anyone just expressing a desire for Tibet as an independent country, the banning of all assemblies of a few people other than the Chinese organised sessions for the purpose of indoctrination, public vilifications and denunciations, denial of economic, social and cultural rights where all economic resources are used for supporting Chinese forces and new settlers, etc.
After the invasion the Han invaders sought to break resistance to their presence by intimidation and “re-education”.
They ordered meetings called “Thamzing” (批判鬥爭大會 or in short 批鬥大會) "Struggle Sessions", and everyone in every village had to attend.
These meetings amounted to nothing more than sessions of denigration, persecution and torture.
Children would be forced to denounce their parents, and often ordered to torture or kill them.
Nuns and monks would be forced into sexual intercourse in public and forced to marry.
Peasants would be ordered to torture their former landlords, or their revered Lamas, and often forced to execute them in various hideous ways imposed by the Han.
These hapless peasants would be primed for weeks by indoctrination and told all manner of fabricated lies to encourage them to perform this public castigation and retribution as a showcase to encourage others to follow suit.
Victims of such persecution were not only the obvious targets of former landowners or Buddhist Lamas, but anyone who didn’t completely acquiesce and showed any resistance to Han presence and dictate.
Peasants became targets in the same way, for not handing over their meagre possessions, for instance such as farm animals, ornaments, coins or anything else of value, or for not denouncing their landlord, lama, relatives or family members.
In order to inflict maximum terror, and as a deterrence to any resistance, the Han conducted these Thamzing sessions all over occupied Tibet, in every village and town.
They employed the whole arsenal of tortures known to them.
Some had urine or excrements forced down their throats, others were hung from their wrists with their hands tied behind their backs and had fires lit below them, or were torn asunder by horses or dragged behind a horse till they succumbed to their horrific injuries. Or they were tied and thrown into a river, had their tongue ripped out or buried alive.
Others were forced to inflict barbaric beatings against their own family members, parents, siblings, or their revered Lama, all under the threat of incurring sever beatings and torture themselves, or being executed for resistance and being a counter-revolutionary.
During, and after these Thamzing session many had their arms, ears, fingers, nose and genitals cut off, burned or mutilated, and the female victims routinely were gang raped by their Han tormentors, time and again and finally killed.
A monk, who begged the Han not to use the Buddhist scriptures they had taken from his monastery as toilet paper, had his arm cut off and mocked to ask god to grow him another one.
Many who did not satisfy the Han in every respect and perform every depravity asked of them, were selected for execution and paraded through the village to the execution ground, or transported into a slave labour camp called Laogai, where they inevitably died a slow and agonising death through deprivation, hunger and lack of even the most basic human needs of sanitation and care.
Once the Tibetan uprising was quashed in 1959, the Han Chinese went on to completely wipe out all Tibetan independence and identity and implemented their own form of slavery through collectivisation, disowned all the Tibetans of their land, and settled the country with their own kin.
Tibetans, farmers and nomadic herders alike were forced into communes, which amounted to no more than labour camps run by the Han, for the benefit of the Han.
Executions and torture was commonplace and the ripping out of the tongue was a practise employed by the Chinese to prevent the Tibetan victims from shouting “Long live the Dalai Lama” or “Free Tibet” before their inevitable death.
Anyone resisting the Chinese occupiers was either executed or imprisoned in one of the many Laogai.
Other forms of torture employed by the Han were: burying and burning alive, beating to death, disembowelling, crucifixion, beheading, etc.
The Han ordered the Tibetans to plant hybrid wheat varieties instead of the traditional barley, which is well suited to the Tibetan conditions, but which the Han didn’t like.
Thus the Tibetans were forced to plant this Han crop, which inevitably failed, leading to food shortages in Tibet.
Tibet never before experienced any famine in its two thousand year recorded history until the Han Chinese forced the Tibetans to plant their ill suited crop.
It was virtually only Tibetans which suffered from these devastating famines as the Han requisitioned the available crop for themselves.
The Chinese never brought any provision with them to support the occupying forces, but requisitioned supplies from the meagre production of food from the Tibetans, and this added to the dire food shortages even in years of relatively good harvest yields.
The same “Agreement of the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” stated in point sixteen:
“16) Funds needed by the military and administrative committee, the military area headquarters and the People’s Liberation Army entering Tibet shall be provided by the central People’s Government……”
Tibetans suffered greatly from the famine of 1959 – 61 which had resulted from the Great Leap. None of the areas of Tibet had poor harvests at that time, but all food was forcibly taken from the Tibetans for the Han Chinese in Tibet and even the provinces adjacent to Tibet. The Chinese explained that the Tibetans were now part of the Chinese masses and therefore bore responsibility to share the fate of the Han; they must also support the PLA and Han Chinese cadres in Tibet in return for the help which they had provided to Tibet.
In all some 300,000 to 400,000 Tibetans died of starvation as a result of Han mismanagement and the confiscation of their food supplies for the Han themselves.
■ Even under severe torture Tibetan peasants would refuse to denounce or accuse a monk, or physically harm them in one of the ubiquitous Thamzing sessions (so called ‘struggle sessions’, public gatherings where Tibetans were forced to denounce, torture or kill members of the community and often even their own family members) the Han Chinese would hold to inculcate the Tibetans of the “evils” of the old society they’ve come to destroy.
These peasants belie this propaganda smear, and demonstrate that the peasantry held no resentment against the monks, the monasteries, or even the gentry; quite to the contrary.
 The Present Situation in Tibet
Even thought Tibetans are supposed to be allowed more than one child, the reality is that in cities a strict one child policy is enforced, with second pregnancies compulsorily terminated.
Abortions are carried out until full term of nine months, where the baby is killed by injecting it with a poison, which inevitably induces abortion.
Even if the mother manages to evade the attention of the Chinese authorities and gives birth to a healthy baby, it invariably is taken away and killed by the medical staff, and the mother is then told that the baby was still born, even though she could hear the baby’s first cry.
Thus, infanticide is part of the population control of Tibetans by the Han Chinese.
Here is an account of one Tibetan Doctor who had her second pregnancy forcibly terminated:
“First they insert a sort of flexible rubber tube with a pointed end into the cervix. There is no medicine in this. They leave this inside for 24 hours. Because it stimulates the birth canal, which opens up slowly and gives way to the flow of blood, a lot of bleeding starts after two hours. After one day they take it out. It has become bigger inside so it is easier for the knife to get inside. They insert an instrument which has a sort of long handle with a knife at the end. They put this inside and start to move it around, cutting the fetus in pieces…… Once it has been reduced to small pieces it is removed by using a sort of compressor. ……..Besides the lack of proper medical equipment to do that, I was not even given anaesthesia and thus experienced excruciating pain at the time. No words have the power to express the excruciating pain I experience during the operation. There was no medical treatment afterwards…. I do not know what has been damage inside me…My physical and mental well-being have been badly affected. After the abortion I was not well …… I had a period twice a month, sometimes for 15 days at a time…..”
As a consequence of such crude and makeshift ‘medical’ procedures infections, long term excruciating pain and complications, irregular periods and bleeding etc. are the norm and endemic, and in many instances the woman dies as a result of such inept medical conduct, and in at least one report which came to light a woman ended up paralysed.
The Han Chinese operate mobile birth control units which visit every village and town. Everyone must attend or face a fine of equal up to five years salary.
There, Tibetan women are forcibly sterilized by the Han Chinese team, which, under a quota system with financial incentives for them, is highly motivated to enforce as many sterilisations as possible.
These sterilisations are carried out in the same unethical fashion as abortions, with severe complications widespread among the Tibetan victims of such inept procedures.
Tibetan women who resist are threatened with having their valuables or household items confiscated, or face heavy fines, which they possibly could never pay. Loosing their job or other economic sanctions are also routinely used to force Tibetan women to submit to these forced sterilisations.
Women who have forcibly been sterilised by these roaming teams report excruciating pain, with no anaesthetic being administered, and that they literally had their fallopian tubes ripped out from their ovaries during their ‘operation’.
Severe long term complications are a routine consequence of such unethical ‘medical conduct’ for these Tibetan women.
Economic sanctions against Tibetan women who have additional children include permanent demotions and the potential loss of employment for both parents, as well as fines equating up to to 6 years salary.
‘Illegal’ children are denied legal papers which would give them the right to identity, attend school, own property, travel, participate in any legal work, or obtain a ration card.
The economic situation for Tibetans is as dire as all other aspects of their lives.
Many get forcibly removed from their land to make way for settlements for new Chinese immigrants, with no compensation to the Tibetans for the loss of their land. Recently several hundred thousand of Tibetan farmers, herders and nomads have forcibly been evicted from their traditional lands and housed in ghetto style compounds at their own expense without compensation. There they face unremitting surveillance, with armed PAP being constantly stationed outside such dour compounds. These ghettos are most often located in remote areas, too far to commute to any work.
This leaves these dispossessed Tibetans without means of earning a living, having been stripped of their entire economic base, land, farm animals, even being prohibited from gathering wild herbs and fruit on their traditional lands.
The new Han migrants are encouraged through very lucrative incentives to settle in Tibet, a policy designed to sinocize Tibet, and in the process to eradicate Tibetan identity.
This is in an attempt to legitimize Chinese annexation of Tibet, once the Tibetan Diaspora, in their own land, has largely been eliminated.
Annual wages for Chinese employees are some 87% higher in Tibet than in China. Han Chinese entrepreneurs receive special tax exemptions and loans at very low interest rates, whereas for Tibetans to start an enterprise in their own homeland, even just getting a license to do so is virtually impossible.
Han Chinese settlers also enjoy benefits of three months paid vacation back in China, special pension, healthcare, schooling and housing benefits, subsidized food; none of which is available to the indigenous Tibetans. Some of these preferential benefits are escalated the longer Chinese settler remain in Tibet.
Further discriminations against Tibetans include: virginity testing, verbal abuse, preferential treatment for Han workers e.g. grants of leave or promotions not granted to Tibetans, higher wages for Han Chinese, dismissal if a family member is deemed to be a “separatist”, widespread sexual harassment by Chinese of Tibetan women, sexual extortion under the threat of loosing their jobs, etc.
With this background of economic disadvantage and clear discrimination, it is impossible for Tibetans to compete on any level with Chinese settlers.
Inevitably most businesses and shops are owned by Chinese and hiring practices by the Han Chinese favour their own kin, leaving Tibetans unable to benefit from any economic improvement.
Indeed, this so called economic growth is proving a clear disadvantage to Tibetans as the inevitable price increases, the massive influx of Han Chinese, subsidies and development for the benefit of these settlers, leaves Tibetans ever further behind and unable to compete, and as a consequence Tibetans are severely disenfranchised and suffer a much lower standard of living.
The schooling provided for Tibetans in most areas in the TAR is often of very little value to students if any at all, that is if there are schools available.
Very few if any of the primary level teachers are qualified, for middle school about one third are not qualified and for High School only about forty percent are qualified; that is sixty percent have no experience or qualifications to teach.
Reports by students and parents describe a situation where the Chinese teachers would appear some days for a while and then go to run their restaurant in town, leaving the students to their own devices, and of course untaught.
These Han “teachers” only speak in Mandarin, a language foreign to most Tibetan students, and hence they gain very little to nothing from such teachers, even if, in the few instances, they apply themselves to the teaching job they’re paid for.
This is a very widespread situation affecting Tibetan students, relegated to the status of third class citizens in their own country and consigned to ‘dustbin’ classes reserved for Tibetans only.
However, the Han Chinese are closing down large numbers schools run by Tibetans who dedicated themselves to fill the vacuum and meet the need for education for Tibetan children. One such recent casualty was the Vocational Education School, in Driru County, Nagchu Prefecture, which was financed with support from the International Red Cross Society.
The curriculum included English, Tibetan and Chinese languages, it also taught physics, medicine, chemistry, art and mural paintings. The school had over 250 pupils and a staff of 20 teachers.
Thereafter the Han Chinese converted this school into a state run school and dismissed all staff except for the founder teacher, Tenzin Thabkhey, but demoted him to a lowly position.
Today, locals report that no serious learning is taking place there and the teachers just ‘while their time away’.
Many other schools financed and run by Tibetans have been closed down by the Han Chinese, one other example is the ‘Pad-kar School’ founded and built by Lobsang Nyandrak who mortgaged his personal property, and raised donations from local Tibetan people in Nagchu County, Nagchu Prefecture. The school had over 200 pupils and taught a similar range of subjects to eager pupils for free.
The Han Chinese’s program they tout as Affirmative Action or Positive Discrimination in education provides another tool for the marginalisation of the Tibetan people and their culture.
Schools where Tibetan children can get a higher education are not situated in Tibet, but are located in mainland China.
These middle schools are provided after passing examination and are designed to thoroughly sinicize young Tibetans in a process of grooming them for administrative position in the TAR.
The rationale is clear; after these children spent most of their formative years away from their families, Tibet and Tibetan culture in far away mainland China and are exclusively exposed to Chinese indoctrination and way of thinking, they can then become trusted leaders and administrators in the Tibetan areas, being of Tibetan ethnicity but with the minds of Han Chinese.
This course of discrimination by inverse action is part of the CCP’s policy of eradicating every aspect of Tibetan culture and identity and allows them to use such terms as ‘affirmative action’ in their papers, reports and propaganda, which are all one and the same.
 Religious Freedom
The Han CCP is proclaiming that Tibetans enjoy full Freedom of Religion and that they support and assist monasteries financially and otherwise.
Recently the Han Chinese have installed CCTV cameras in most monasteries to control the monks’ every activity, they maintain a tight security presence around the clock, and even opened Police stations inside, or right next to many monasteries.
Not only are the number of monks and nuns strictly controlled and limited, the curriculum and extent of the teachings is also controlled and prescribed by the Han Chinese with many aspects of traditional teachings banned for being deemed to be “too politically sensitive”.
These restrictions and transformations render the Buddhist teachings almost meaningless, to the point of having become an instrument of Han CCP indoctrination and brainwashing.
Monks must pass exams in political ideology, denounce the Dalai Lama and are required to swear allegiance to local communist party authorities, or be expelled from monastic life.
Politics is one such subject prescribed, and monks must undergo such political indoctrination, pass exams in patriotism, prove their ‘love for the motherland’ and denounce the Dalai lama, or they forfeit the right to be a monk.
As an example, the correct answer to one of the political questions is:
"The Dalai is the head of the Serpent and the Chieftain of the separatist organization conspiring for independence in Tibet and he is the root-cause of all social instability in Tibet."
This psychological terror strikes at the very heart of Tibetan identity and their most treasured principles.
Such willful humiliation is what compels many monks into committing suicide rather than having to renounce and pervert their deepest and most sacred convictions.
Reports list literally dozens of monks who commit suicide annually rather than become a lackey to the Han Chinese and betray their very own Tibetanness and convictions.
If a monk is expelled he will almost certainly be unable to find work, and will thereafter be treated as a criminal by the Han authorities.
The teaching of Buddhism is also an ongoing process of learning and investigation.
However, the Han Chinese have prohibited the studies towards, and examinations for a Geshe Lharampa Degree for 15 years, which is equivalent to a PhD in Tibetan Buddhism.
It has now been ‘reinstated’, not out of any concern for religious freedom or human rights, but as a tool to further humiliate and indoctrinate Tibetans, pervert their religion, and in the process prevent the true spirit of Buddhism from re-emerging.
Now candidates are required to study, and pass exams on six political ideology books written by the CCP.
All this clearly is designed to render the teachings of Buddhism unattractive and meaningless, and in doing so the Han perverted it into a tool for the indoctrination, humiliation and oppression of Tibetans.
In a clear exploit of scheming and fomenting the chasm which has plagued the exiled Tibetan community over the propitiation of Dorje Shugden, the Han Chinese are favouring and rewarding monasteries, which follow this practice, with money taken form other monasteries.
Monks report that often donations of money they received for the monastery had been confiscated by the Han Chinese.
They also report a climate of fear and mistrust, as probably every monastery has been infiltrated by paid undercover moles posing as monks, to the point of monks even mistrusting their own superiors, as they all have all been selected by the Han authorities on grounds of their ‘trustworthiness’ and ‘loyalty’ to the Han nation.
Tourists report that they were arrested for relics they had taken into Tibet and given to some monk in a monastery, such as photos of the Dalai Lama and tapes of his teachings. Later, that same monk was present at the police station to identify them.
Monks also report that prostitutes regularly appear in monasteries sent by the Han authorities to tempt them into breaking their vows of celibacy.
Further restrictions monks face are bans on the use of the internet, mobile phones, DVD’s and Videos.
The following is but a very small sample of recent cases, providing a glimpse of what monks, and Tibetans in general, have to endure in arbitrary arrests on trumped up charges, and the repression of their basic rights and freedoms of expression:
• Abbot Khenpo Jinpa was arrested and subsequently imprisoned for three years for the alleged distribution of leaflets in support of independence and the Dalai Lama.
• Rongye Adrak was sentenced to eight years in prison for inciting “separatism” by calling for the return of the Dalai Lama.
Three Tibetans who witnessed his arrest and had concerns over his fraudulent trial were themselves arrested for allegedly attempting to provide information to foreign organizations.
They were subsequently sentenced to ten, nine and three years in jail for the “crime” of “leaking intelligence” and “endangering national security”.
• A village leader, Penpa, was arrested and imprisoned for three years for allegedly being in possession of material relating to the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakara teachings.
• Choeying Khedrub was jailed for life for allegedly “endangering state security” and “supporting splittist activities”.
Many other monks were sentenced to life for the same alleged “crimes”.
• Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was framed and sentenced to death on trumped up charges, his supposed co-conspirator was executed immediately. Rinpoche was a very popular Lama and was a thorn in the side for the Han authorities for his independent mindedness, conservationist stance, assistance to nomads and support for Tibetan identity.
Anyone who is familiar with the conditions of prisons in Tibet and the treatment Tibetans are subjected to once incarcerated by the Han Chinese, for whatever trumped up charges, will be aware of the abject horror that awaits these hapless victims of Han racism.
The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima, identified by the Tibetans as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen, was abducted by the Chinese in 1995 at age 6, along with his family and teachers, and none of whom has ever been seen since.
The Han Chinese have installed their own puppet Panchen Lama, and use him for their propaganda purposes.
On his rare ventures out of Beijing to Tibet, monks in monasteries he visits must attend his audience, and they are sometimes bribed with 100 yuan, in propaganda stunts for footage of smiling monks ‘adoring their Panchen Lama’, to show how much he is ‘revered and respected’ by the Tibetan monks.
However he is simply referred to as the ‘Han Panchen’, and Tibetans wish nothing more than the return of their real Panchen Lama, if he is still alive, and of course the return of the Dalai Lama.
See Footnotes: i
In monasteries where tourists are likely to appear, there are plainclothes PAP in constant attendance. In remoter areas armed PAP is there in full regalia, ever present and controlling every activity day and night.
Monasteries are completely under the control of the Han CCP through their Democratic Management Committees, and their every activity and finance is regulated, controlled, and permissions have to be sought for any activity monks might want to undertake.
As part of true Buddhist teachings, monks will cultivate the Four Immeasurables, and thus after long and arduous training will transcend the mundane mindset of referential thinking and be detached from such follies of likes, dislikes, hate, anger, sorrow and attachment.
This is one aspect which can not be regulated, as it is part of meditation practices, and just requires the utmost undivided focus and attention.
Thus, a monk will be able to forgive and see their tormentors as ‘teachers’ who provide the ultimate ‘test’ for the application and realization of the Four Immeasurables.
This explains how monks, even after thirty years of constant torture and torment at the hands of their oppressors, bear no grudge or animosity towards their tyrannizing captors, and keep their smiles, as though their lives were one of constant bliss under Han occupation.
See Footnotes: ii
Some other measures to oppress Tibetans and their religious freedom include:
• Indoctrination sessions, which monks have to endure on a mostly daily basis, and these have now also been extended to business and government employees.
• A strict prohibition on pictures of the kidnapped 11th Panchen Lama and the much vilified 14th Dalai Lama, at the threat of very lengthy prison sentences.
• Permissions have to be sought from the Religious Affairs Bureau, RAB, for any activity a monastery wishes to undertake, or for a monk to travel outside his district and give teachings.
• A recent refusal by the RAB to grant permission for an annual religious event at the Tsodham Monastery in early 2010 is but one example of the RAB’s rigorous control and flagrant denial of religious freedom for Tibetans.
• Some 500 monks who originated from outside the TAR were expelled from monasteries in Lhasa and have never been allowed back since 2008.
Tibetan Monks and lay people, in an attempt to avoid the repressive controls and interference by the Han authorities have built new quarters known as Gars for the purpose of teaching and practising their religion. However they have drawn the same unwelcome attention as the traditional monasteries and have been closed down and demolished.
One of these, Larung Gar Religious Institute, which was situated in the Sichuan province was destroyed by the Han authorities. It had some 1,000 quarters for students of Buddhism, and at its peak had over 10.000 practitioners from Tibet, including a thousand from China, plus many from all parts of the world.
■ Gyaltsen Norbu, an exiled Tibetan monk now living in India provides the following testimony:
"In 2003, the Panchen Zuma visited our monastery. Everyone who came to visit him was given 100 Yuan and a Khata [offering scarf]. Pictures were taken of him giving head-touching blessings to the local people. It was like a show. Honestly speaking, no one was happy with that, because we have no faith in him. But it was ordered by the Government and we had to do what we were told."
■ Here is an account of one monk released after 33 years of continuous Han Chinese abuse:
“I became a Buddhist monk when I was ten. When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959 I was twenty-nine years old. The Chinese arrested me for putting up posters that Tibet is an independent country. Because of this “crime”, I spent thirty-three years in Chinese prisons and labour camps."
The monk shared some of the details of his life in prison. He said that the Chinese guards wanted to see who would survive their torture and who would die.
"In the name of this “curiosity” they repeatedly tortured and humiliated prisoners. They would tie rope around the prisoners’ necks and pull back their arms, dislocating shoulders and elbows. The guards would lash the prisoners to beams and beat them with metal pipes and wooden boards studded with nails, until the prisoners could no longer control their bodily functions.
In the summer’s heat, the guards dangled their prisoners above a fire, or they dripped boiling water onto the prisoners’ naked bodies in the cold of winter. The prisoners were yoked to ploughs and forced to till the prison lands.
Because they were given only a cup of soup a day, they stayed alive by eating leather, grass, bones, mice, worms, insects, and, on rare and fortunate occasions, food that was meant for the pigs."
The monk told how the guards knocked out all his teeth and beat his head so he became deaf in one ear.
They split his tongue with a cattle prod, broke his nose with metal pipes, and tried to rip out his eyes. He showed us scars on his wrists from self-tightening handcuffs and rope burns on his neck and arms.
His arms could no longer extend.
 Denigration and Vilification
An exhibition in the Potala “Wrath of the Serfs” depicted 106 clay statues in various situations of ‘horrors’ which the serfs purportedly had to endure.
This display of distortion and denigration made all manner of outrages claims, such as monks burying children alive in the foundations of new monasteries.
This exhibition was categorised into the sections:
“Serfs Rise in Struggle an Yearn for Liberation”
“Feudal Estate Owners’ Manors: Miserable Infernos on Earth”
“Lamaseries: Dark Man-Eating Dens”
“Local Reactionary Government of Tibet: Apparatus of Reactionary Rule”
This exhibition was required viewing by tourists for many years, even though it had the effect of eliciting incredulity and amusement, and exposing the Han Chinese as manipulators of the historical facts, rather than the Tibetans as the villains it attempted to portray, for it was so outrageously histrionic and melodramatic.
In 1963 the Chinese released the movie “Serf” which was shown all over China in an attempt to vilify and depict the old Tibetan society as cruel and backward, in an underlying theme almost beyond any credibility.
This had a profound impact on Han Chinese who, after millennia of such dearly nurtured attitudes, would have had very little good sense to question the portrayal of the Tibetans in such demeaning and condescending terms. This propaganda flick at the same time portrayed the PLA as compassionate and benevolent, who altruistically came to help the Tibetans to improve their lives, and even called the soldiers an army of ‘Bodhisattvas’.
This is a Buddhist term denoting a Being seeking Enlightenment and practising altruistic compassion and benevolence; a truly bizarre twist of duplicitous propaganda, given the CCP’s relentless demonising of the Buddhist religion and its adherents.
See Footnotes: i
But the systematic denigration and vilification is not just confined to media such as movies or exhibitions, it permeates every aspect of communication and also appears in subtler and more insidious forms: Novels, TV, History Books, the reporting of News, even Sitcoms, Plays, Textbooks, News Papers, in fact every aspect of communication is employed.
The March 14th protests in 2008 provided the CCP with an occasion to demonstrate their well honed propaganda skills in subtle demonisation of the Tibetans.
Scenes of burning shops and cars were shown ad nauseam around the clock, underscored with the most vitriolic and inflammatory commentary to instil utmost resentment and odium amongst their only real constituency, the Han, against the Tibetans. They were constantly portrayed as ungrateful and ‘biting the hand that’s lifting them out of their backwardness’, with most Han Chinese referring to Tibetans as “white-eyed wolves”, inferring their ungratefulness at all the ‘help they’ve received from the Han people’.
In the aftermath of the protests, the Han Chinese arrested several thousand Tibetans, perhaps as many as six thousand, of which some one thousand are still missing, with their whereabouts unknown. Reliable sources report them as being surreptitiously moved to Qinghai, a known centre for organ harvesting.
Read more on the Laogai system here.
Tibetans who have been arrested after the protests report an underlying attitude by the Han Chinese of “This is our chance” and “Settling accounts after autumn harvest” (qiu hou suan zhang)”; a mindset of overt and unmitigated racism, which goes some way towards explaining the gratuitous brutality routinely experienced by detainees at the hands of the Han Chinese.
At least ten, but possibly many more, extrajudicial killings have come to light, that is Tibetans who have been so severely tortured and beaten that they died as a result, either while in custody or after their release, in connection with arrests after the 2008 protests.
The Chinese have sentenced scores of Tibetans to death and many received sentences ranging from lengthy terms to life imprisonment.
In the case of two Tibetans condemned to death, Loyak and Lobsang Gyaltsen, Xinhua opined that these two “must be executed to allay the anger of the people”.
The Nangpa La Pass Incident on the 26th September 2006 is but a small illustration of the process of vilification and inversion of the facts by the Han Chinese. It is also a clear demonstration of the deep rooted racism, condescension and contempt the Han reserve for the Tibetans.
While the whole world was witness to the true events thanks to this video below, Xinhua, the mouthpiece of the Han CCP first denied any such incident occurred, then was forced to admit that ‘an incident’ had occurred, but claimed that the border guards first tried to persuade the Tibetans to return and go home, but then were attacked by them and so they had to defend themselves and in the process shot and wounded two people.
See Footnotes: ii
Everything Tibetans are allowed to hear, see or read is tightly controlled and prescribed by the Han Chinese.
No Tibetan Textbooks are allowed to originate from Tibetan authors, any that do exist in the Tibetan language are translations from Mandarin.
Newspapers are mainly translations of the CCP’s own mouthpiece, Xinhua, and according to reporters who have worked in the media in Tibet, ninety nine percent of what’s published is form such predetermined sources.
The strict control of all media in Tibet is run by Han Chinese, mostly CCP members, and heavy penalties are meted out to anyone transgressing the limits of censorship. One Tibetan journalist who escaped to India summed it up as follows: "We were all afraid. Anyone who defies the censors can expect the worst".
Recent convictions of Tibetans for ‘infringing’ CCP censorship in connection with the internet and writings alone include:
• Dasher, sentenced to 10 years for allegedly sending photos and reports of the 2008 riots via internet abroad.
• Kunga Tseyang, sentenced to 5 years for posting material on the internet.
• Kunchok Tsephel, sentenced to 15 years jail for allegedly divulging “state secrets”.
• Tseyang, sentenced to 5 years prison for allegedly writing “separatist” articles and posting them on the internet.
• Tsephel, a well know intellectual, writer and founder of the internet site Chodme was sentenced to 15 years jail for content on the site.
• Gyaltsing, sentenced to 3 years in prison for allegedly ‘communicating information to contacts outside China’, after he was intercepted downloading photos of the Dalai Lama.
• Norzin Wangmo, sentenced to 5 years in jail for talking about the situation in Tibet over the phone and internet.
• Migmar Dhondup, a passionate conservationist, sentenced to 14 years in prison for “espionage”. His charity work included working with impoverished communities, protecting the environment and encouraging Tibetans to preserve what’s left of Tibetan culture and language.
• Dhondup Wangchen, sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for his brave attempt of giving Tibetans a voice and letting them express their views on the Olympics in his short movie, "Leaving Fear Behind".
• Dolma Kyab, sentenced to ten and a half years in prison for alleged “espionage”. Dolma, a passionate teacher and writer wrote a book, unpublished of course, about Tibetan history, religion and geography.
In a letter smuggled out of prison he wrote: "Chinese officials think that what I wrote about nature and geography was also connected to Tibetan independence. This is the main reason of my conviction. But according to Chinese law, the book alone would not justify such a sentence. So they announced that I am guilty of the crime of espionage."
This is but a very small sample of the repression Tibetans face on a daily basis at the hands of the Han Chinese.
In all it is estimated that over 50 Tibetans were arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms just in connection with disseminating information about the 08 riots alone. But other activities such as downloading pictures of the Dalai Lama, posting Tibetan language poetry, blogging about life in Tibet, or just communicating with the outside world reaps Tibetans lengthy jail terms on the usual trumped up charges of “espionage” or “revealing state secrets”.
But thousands more Tibetans are being incarcerated, for exercising their constitutionally and UN Charter guaranteed rights of freedom of speech and expression, on such trumped up charges.
Most Tibetans imprisoned experience degrading treatment, severe beatings and torture on a routine basis and suffer extremely harsh conditions, affecting their physical and mental health as a consequence.
In addition to the heavily censored media content, the Han Chinese are jamming all broadcasts from outside the Han nation, such as Voice of Tibet (VOT), which is funded by Norwegian NGO’s, Voice of America (VOA), etc. violating UN resolutions and even its own Constitution by doing so.
The internet is also tightly controlled and monitored, every internet café gets visited every day and every pc scrutinised for content viewed over the internet, so that even in public access to the net Tibetans are sure to be surveyed at every moment of the day. It would be unthinkable for a Tibetan to attempt downloading such banned material as pictures of the Dalai Lama in his own home, as every connection is closely monitored and would lead to instant arrest.
In the latest twist of repressive measures, Tibetan internet café owners must install filtering and surveillance software on their PCs together with scanning soft and hardware, and every user of the internet at publicly accessible points must swipe his ID card, and so have all his details and activities monitored and recorded immediately.
The Han Chinese have installed a CCTV surveillance system, SkyNet Project, all over Tibet to strictly monitor Tibetans in every public place, street corner, and alleyway, covering every village, town and city on the entire Tibetan plateau.
Han CCP propaganda has managed to turn their destruction and looting of Tibet into an act of benevolence and selfless munificence in the eyes of their Han constituency, and even the wider world at large, and the oppression and brutal subjugation of the Tibetan people into a ‘liberation and empowerment’.
As a result of such incessant propaganda and calculated denigrations, Han people view the Tibetans as ‘white-eyed wolves’, inferring that they are an ‘ungrateful bunch of howling wolves’, and don’t appreciate all the ‘selfless investments and aid’ the Han people have poured into Tibet.
The reality is that any investments made in Tibet are solely for the benefit of Han Settlers, the movement of their Military, the extraction of mineral wealth from gold to copper and many other mining activities, facilitating logging, the building of hydroelectric power stations, and in so claiming the country of Tibet for the Han Nation.
The looting of all the precious artefacts, silver and gold stolen in the fifties and sixties from the Tibetans alone amounts to many multiples of what the Han Chinese so conceitedly tout as having ‘invested’ in Tibet, alas not out of altruistic motives or to any benefit to the Tibetans, but for purely egocentric purposes.
But of course since then the country of Tibet has continually been ransacked for most of its ancient forests, mineral wealth, and today the rapacious looting and extraction continues at an ever accelerated pace.
■ Wei Jingshen, a well known Chinese dissident writes that when his parents learned of his girlfriend’s ethnicity, a Tibetan, they threatened to disown him, unless he immediately terminated this relationship. Although his parents never met any Tibetans, they thought that Tibetans were half human, half animal. This racist stereotype is farily typical amongst Han people, and is a result of a society which through the ages has unremittingly harboured such incongruous bigotry, and which under the CCP has further been thoroughly conditioned with relentless vilification and denigration of the Tibetan people.
This attitude towards the Tibetans is as ancient as it is contemporary, with writers through the ages portraying the Tibetan race in these condescending and denigrating terms; denying them any form of culture, learning, or even products of value to the superior Han.
Successive Ming Emperors sought to expand their influence over other territories by sinicizing bordering ‘barbarian’ races by way of converting them into some second rate honorary Han. This, they thought, could be accomplished by bestowing them with honorific titles, which they liberally issued to mostly low ranking lames. Most Tibetan lamas were invited by the Emperors for such purposes, however, many just simply ignored it, but lower ranking ones would often accept these invitations. But the real reason though they would make the long and arduous journey to the Ming court was that they would receive gifts from the Emperor, which they could sell at a respectable profit back in Tibet.
So for these lamas this was a lucrative enterprise, and a small price to pay for displaying some expedient deference to this foreign ruler.
These envoys in turn would also carry some gifts for the Emperor, which by CCP writers now is reinterpreted as ‘tributes’, however, this was just a reciprocal exchange, of gifts and honorific titles; customary at the time throughout Asia and a show of mutual respect.
However court chroniclers recorded that the Ming Emperor and his court held the view that these ‘barbarians’ in reality had nothing of value to offer to the Emperor, only curios, artefacts and handicraft for his amusement, despite them often being exquisitely crafted artefacts.
A clear indication that this was not a ‘tribute system’ as modern CCP writers would now have it, but a lucrative revenue racket for the Tibetan lamas, is that these envoys of lamaseries were so numerous that the court would issue an edict and restrict each monastery or Lama to one visit every three years.
■ A recent study of Tibetan refugees arriving in India by “BMC International Health and Human Rights” concluded that most of the refugees in the study had experienced torture.
With the most common torture techniques being:
Beatings (73%), electrical torture (43%), being forced to provide blood (19%), and being kept naked (25%).
These refugees also were further traumatised by sleep deprivation (36%), witnessing murder (37%), kidnapping of family and friends (37%), and disappearances of family and friends (13%).
They conclude as follows:
“Our findings demonstrate that torture is commonly reported amongst Tibetan refugees, and that those who have experienced torture often suffer significant psychological effects.”
The examination of the complex relationship between the Tibetan Nation and the Han people throughout history reveals but one consistent underlying theme, that of racism in all its unpleasant forms and guises.
But it is by and large a story untold and unknown, denied, suppressed and falsified by the victors who get to write the history books.
And also today by the political powers that be; pusillanimous politicians and diplomats all around the world, the Western Press, and despite the many good books on Tibet, by many authors too timid or downright fallacious to confront the truth, but all kowtowing to the masters of the most populous nation; afraid to jeopardise their lucrative trade, cosy arrangements or relationships in whatever form they may be, with these autocrats of the Han empire.
Today the CCP employs the same thinly veiled tactics as Sun Yat-sen did after the 1910 revolution, where he duplicitously called the ROC a "Multi-ethnic" nation.
Thus in order to clad their racist regime in a veneer of ‘legitimacy’ the PRC is called a "Nation of 56 Nationalities", with the inference of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘communality’ amongst the races.
This of course bears no semblance to any reality, where only the Han CCP holds all the power, and where all UN conventions, and even the PRC’s own constitutional guarantees and rights, are flagrantly disregarded in respect to the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples.
This construct of the nation of 56 Nationalities serves the sole purpose of cloaking the occupation and sinicizing of all of these minorities’ lands in some tenuous legitimacy.
In the CCP’s calculation this would validate the intended eradication of the cultural and hereditary claim these people legitimately have over their ancestral lands once and for all, and in turn pervert any claim to self determination under UN Conventions signed up to by the PRC by joining the UN.
The old South Africa offers little comparison to the Racism perpetrated in Tibet.
The racism in SA was of a candidly overt nature, and the regime there made no attempts to gloss over the fact that racism was institutionalised policy.
In Tibet, the Han nation is practising a much more pernicious and intractable Racism.
A covert, veiled and disguised Racism, vehemently denied, and smothered in a plethora of propaganda, that attempts to portray a harmonious, inclusive and egalitarian society, the very opposite to the reality of their policies.
In many ways the Racism perpetrated in Tibet is much more insidious, and for the victims of a far more heinous and callous nature.
The old SA did not arbitrarily arrest blacks, or systematically torture and mistreat their prisoners as a matter of course.
There were also no Slave Labour Camps as in Tibet, called Laogai, where inmates are forced to perform hard labour and are assigned dangerous tasks without adequate protection or standard precautions.
Needless to say the majority suffer longterm ill health and many die as a consequence.
And in the old SA, speaking out on issues of whatever nature, or carrying a picture of Nelson Mandela did not result in a very lengthy jail term, with all the associated horrors of torture and maltreatment, as is the case in Tibet today.
The deliberate and systematic denigration and vilification of the Tibetan people and their history is unique to Han racism.
The complete abrogation of any culture, or even according Tibetans achievements of any merit in their own right, i.e. where all the ‘civilizing and culture’ has come from the Han people over the entire course of their history, is but the grossest form of racism, and without equal.
Han Chinese records and ‘literature’, historical and contemporary, are replete with such condescending and patronising falsehoods and inversions of historical facts, and serves but one purpose, the self-aggrandizing of the Han race at the expense of the Tibetan people, who after all are forever to be kept in their place as ‘barbarians’.
The Han Chinese regime has taken to touring the globe with their sordid exhibition commemorating their duplicitous “Tibetan Serfs Emancipation Day”, ramming their racist vilification of the Tibetan people down everyone’s throat, where no country would dare to refuse to host such blatant racism on their soil for fear of economic retribution, as is always at the forefront of anything the Chinese undertake in international relations.
The mere fact that this regime would go to the extreme of touring the world with such hateful propaganda is universally viewed as the grossest form of racism, where every other nation would be utterly ashamed and mortified to stoop to such squalid tactics, the Han people evidently have never displayed such sensitivities or even pangs of conscience.
To the contrary, the supreme conceit displayed in their denials of everything they commit betrays a mindset utterly bereft of such common civilities.
But it is the very nature of the PRC, which is exacting the heaviest toll on the Tibetan people, and other minorities; the loss of their Country, their ancestral land inhabited for millennia as a proud, independent nation.
It is in the way the Han nation came into being, by brute force and violent subjugation by the Han race, against the will of the minorities, first by Sun Yat-sen’s RoC and then by Mao’s PRC.
The self appointed rulers over an empire of ‘alien’ races, as the Manchu’s were branded, and by extension all the other subjugated races!
But nevertheless, the Han race sees itself as the ‘rightfully anointed rulers’ over these alien territories, against all Conventions, International Law, and the will of the subjugated people.
The old SA was rightfully ostracised and sanctioned and forced into change and reform; but then it never could match the economic clout of today’s China.
Today the Han nation has the economic and financial muscle to cower even the most ‘principled’ and well meaning politician, ‘respectable’ News Organisation, or Corporation into indecorous acquiescence to their haughty demands.
(Google being a recent and laudable exception; making for a heartening exclusion from such ignominious submission and abandonment of purported principles.)
An independent Tibet has all the ingredients to be a very prosperous and flourishing country in its own right.
An authentic Tibet, not the artificial one duplicitously run by the Han Chinese for the purpose of tourism, would be one powerful driver where the Tibetans could for once genuinely benefit enormously, and attract a much wider audience of tourists in search of a truly unique culture and people on the roof of the world.
Also, the Han Chinese loot Tibet annually of billions of Dollars worth of natural resources, from forests, minerals and gold, to hydroelectric power, without regards for the environment and to no benefit for the Tibetans.
This natural wealth again would afford the rightful owners vast economic benefit and income if they were to be paid fairly for the natural wealth, now being plundered from them.
The Tibetans have all the constituents for a successful modern state, a fact demonstrated during millennia of independence and evidently during the period of 1910 – 1950, where they largely managed to stay out of the turmoil engulfing the world at large, and demonstrated their fierce independence and will to modern Nationhood.
Alas, their efforts to build a modern nation and national pride were brutally quashed by the invasion in 1950, and their country plunged into the darkest of ages by their “liberators”.
Indeed, the “Hell on Earth” of “old Tibet” now depicted by the CCP is more than uncannily reminiscent of what Tibetans suffered at the hands of the Han people over the centuries, but particularly over the last sixty years, and continue to endure today, in the 21st century no less, without the least display of any pangs of conscience, let alone remorse, by the perpetrators.
The racism and contempt the Han reserve for the Tibetan people is evident in the contemptuous violation of all UN conventions the PRC has signed up to, the vicious treatment meted out to detainees on a routine basis, the discrimination, denigration and third class citizen status Tibetans are subjected to, and the complete and contemptible disregard of any human rights, despite countless reports branding the perpetrators for these horrific crimes.
The horrendous suffering will only end when the last Han Chinese has forcibly been evicted from Tibetan soil, like once before in 1910, and the Tibetan people can restore their dignity, live by their cherished culture, and manage once again their own economic, political and social affairs in their uniquely Buddhist and Tibetan approach.
One day again the Snow Lion Flag will fly over the Potala and signify a free, independent Tibet - RANGZEN